Workers began moving into the newly-built Reality Concepts Building in Old Town Clovis in September. Photo by David Castellon
Written by David Castellon
For more than a year, people who work at and frequent Old Town Clovis have watched two almost neighboring office buildings undergoing construction.
On Friday, the public will get its first look at one of the nearly completed buildings.
The owners of the Realty Concepts Building next to Centennial Plaza, off Pollasky Avenue, will host a grand opening this evening during the Clovis Farmer’s Market.
But while it may look finished on the outside, and workers for Fresno-based Realty Concepts have begun moving in and conducting business there, parts of the interior aren’t fully finished.
Most notable among the unfinished areas is the first floor, which consists mostly of wall framing and utility lines with an exposed dirt floor, for now.
This space is being leased by House of JuJu, an American-style gastro pub and restaurant that currently operates around the corner and will move into this new, larger space once the ground-floor construction is completed.
As for the upper two floors of the 12,000-square-foot building, most of it will be occupied by the staff of Realty Concepts and its subsidiaries, with about 1,000 square feet going to a tenant, said J.P. Shamshoian, president of the 26-year-old company that specializes in sales and financing of residential, commercial and agricultural real estate.
“We had a small office in Clovis up until a year ago,” but that was always intended to be a temporary spot to house staff working in that city until a larger space could be found there, he said.
“When we decided to build that [new] building, we closed our Clovis office and decided to consolidate it into our Fresno office, and that was in June of last year,” while construction on the new building began in October 2016, Shamshoian noted.
“This is the first time that we really have a fully-scaled office in Clovis.”
The parcel the new building went up on was a long-vacant, former California Department of Motor Vehicles building just off the north side of Centennial Plaza, a small public area built by the city with benches and tables where Old Town visitors and workers can relax.
On the immediate north side of the plaza was a parking lot that the City of Clovis also made available for purchase at the same time.
Last summer, construction began there on a second three-story building by Clovis-based developers Roger and Roxie Petersen.
Though its construction began first last summer, it’s a larger building, about 18,000 square feet. As such, while the Realty
Concepts building looks done, the second, as yet unnamed building stands surrounded by scaffolding and incomplete exterior walls, while construction inside is ongoing.
The Petersens’ son, Gary, a licensed contractor who is overseeing the construction, said he expects the work to be done and for tenants to start moving in by late October.
Currently, QK, Inc. — formerly Quad Knopf — which consults in civil engineering, traffic engineering, land surveying, environmental compliance and other fields, is planning to lease the third floor and probably part of the second floor, while one or more other tenants are being sought for the rest of the second floor, Gary Petersen said.
As for the first floor, he said that’s earmarked for commercial retail space, with a women’s boutique occupying part of it and a craft beer brewery and restaurant occupying the rest.
Gary Peterson said a major benefit of the locale is that workers in the building will be able to walk to local restaurants and shops during their breaks or they can relax and eat in Centennial Plaza next door.
“The whole idea is people can work and walk to lunch to a number of restaurants out here,” which is one of the reasons his parents decided to build an office building in Old Town Clovis, said Petersen, noting that the two new buildings on either side of the plaza are the first three-story buildings in Old Town.
Shamshoian shared a similar view about the area, saying “Old Town is one of the only places in the Clovis and Fresno areas where you can go to work, walk to dinner and then walk around town with your friends. It feels like you are in a much more urban setting, because everything is right there.
“So when the opportunity came to invest in Old Town, we jumped at it.”
For his part, Petersen said he believes more larger office buildings will start going up here in the near future “because people like Clovis, and they want to work here, too.”